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James and Marilyn Simons Present The East Harlem Tutorial Program With A $15 Million Challenge

The Simons’  among the United States’s most active philanthropists, have provided New York City K-12 Public Education  program will match dollar for dollar  the first $15 million of  public and private donations to support the program

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Marilyn and James Simons,  have thrown down the gauntlet to  the good people of New York in general and East Harlem in particular  by offering to match dollar for dollar  the first $15 million of  public and private donations to support the East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP) $45 million campaign planned to  enable the program to establish  a state of the art K-12 classroom facility,  hopefully increase participation levels  in its after school programs, as well as help to provide endowments for the organization’s College Scholars program that  will provide support to students aiming to complete their higher education degree.

The Simons’ gift is rated  amongst  the top five individual endowments ever contributed to a support public education in New York City and undoubtedly the most generous  of its kind ever presented to an institution in East Harlem.

Responding to the gift Jeff Ginsburg, Executive Director, East Harlem Tutorial Program stated that the EHTP  are so grateful for Marilyn and Jim Simon’s extraordinary gift. They have been long standing supporters of our work and are true partners in our mission to provide the students and families of East Harlem with the education they deserve.

“Private investments remain essential to making these opportunities more broadly available and allow for the continued success of our scholars.” Summed up Mr. Ginsburg.

Founded in 1958 as a children’s reading group, EHTP has grown to become  a multi-site after-school program catering for both traditional public school students as well as  a community-based school operator, whose  focus it is to significantly increase the rates of college graduation rate in  the district of East Harlem.

Thanks to this most recent initiative, EHTP’s public charter schools, East Harlem Scholars Academies, are expected to increase  grow by a grade each year to a level where they will  serve 1, 500 students in grades K-12.

In addition, EHTP’s  year-round after-school programs, which are operated without  cost to families in East Harlem, currently serve students in grades K-12, as well as those attending college. The Simons’ gift will go a long way in providing essential space for these programs as well as providing  endowment capability for certain key programs, such as College Scholarships.

Announcing their initiative, Marilyn Simons confirmed their excitement at being able to to envision EHTP’s students enthused, motivated, and thriving in this new building. “As a longtime supporter and board member of EHTP, I’m pleased to see the organization working to provide them with the education opportunities they so deserve, ” Marilyn Simons went on to confirm.

As a result of their multi-faceted activities, the Simons have been recent recipients of  the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. During 2013, the Simon Foundation  presented a $150 million gift to the Stonybrook University, one of the most magnanimous gifts  ever presented to a public university or college in the United States.


James Simons gained a  Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating in 1958, going on to become a Doctor of Philosophy, also in mathematics, from the University of California, Berkeley. Simons received his doctorate in 1961, when aged just 23.

During the mid sixties, James Simons was involved in research for the Communications Research Division of the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), leaving there to teach mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

Simon left the world of academia for the private sector, establishing his own hedge fund management firm, Renaissance Technologies, to trade in commodities and financial instruments on a discretionary basis.

Today Renaissance Technologies handles over $15 billion in assets under management in three separate funds, employing 275 people.


Marilyn Simons, has been associated with non -profit groups, both in New York City and Long Island, where she is vice chairperson of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Mrs. Simons also acts as treasurer and was formerly president of the Learning Spring School in New York City. The school provides an educational framework for children suffering from autism.




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